Phil Mickelson Hits Ball Up Man’s Shorts
Phil Mickelson gave a PGA fan quite the thrill Saturday afternoon.
Clink. The sound of Mickelson’s tee-off on the 15th hole of the third round of the Northern Trust Open looked to be the start of a gorgeous drive but quickly metamorphosed into a very unusual shank. As the golf ball sailed through the sky and dropped–disappointingly–in the gallery, spectators swarmed. Further investigation and a close-up from PGA TV revealed that “Phil the Thrill” managed a near impossible shot. He actually hit the golf ball up a fan’s shorts, after the errant ball bounced off of a tree.
“I thought I had taken him out,” Mickelson told Time. “It wouldn’t have been the first time.”
This time the case proved quite the opposite; Patrick Prendergast was not injured, instead laying still in an attempt to uphold the game’s “play it as it lies” rule. He shared a laugh with Mickelson as the pro removed the golf ball from his khakis. Bewildered observers cheered when he stood, smiling and pumping his fists into the air. Mickelson finished the hole with a par and a free drop while the elated Prendergast received an autographed glove from the four-time major golf tournament champion.
Yet in spite of the golfer’s creative maneuvering on Saturday and a tie for the top at the end of the day with a 1-under 70, Mickelson did not close out the tournament with a victory on Sunday. That accolade went to Bill Haas, who pulled off a birdie on the extra second hole to nudge out Mickelson and Bradley Keegan and win the final round with 7-under par 277 after coming from behind.
“I was very tentative on the greens today,” Mickelson told the Chicago Tribune. “I was trying to knock them in, but (the greens) just weren’t as fast as I was perceiving them to be.”
No matter. With the Masters approaching, fans’ eyes are on Lefty’s next shot–and their shorts.
Watch: Phil Mickelson at the Northern Trust Open